EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — In yet another blow to the New York Giants‘ receiving corps, Golden Tate has been suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, he confirmed Saturday.
Tate, who said the banned substance was a prescribed fertility medication, has scheduled an appeal for the first week of August and a resolution is expected before the start of the regular season, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
In a statement, Tate said he believes he has a legitimate case to win his appeal.
“This past April, during the off-season, my wife and I decided to see a specialist for fertility planning. I started the treatment prescribed to me and just days later I discovered it contained an ingredient that is on the league’s banned substance list,” Tate said in a statement. “I immediately discontinued use, I reported the situation to the Independent Administrator of the NFL Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances, and I spoke with my coaches and general manager. I did all of this well before a failed test was even confirmed.
“Per NFL protocol, an initial suspension was imminent, but myself and the Giants organization are confident in the facts, and eagerly await my appeal to put this behind us.”
Coleman is likely to miss the entire 2019 season, while Shepard will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis with a possibility of returning in time for the season opener in six weeks.
Tate was the Giants’ big offseason acquisition following the trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns. Tate signed a four-year, $37.5 million deal in March after finishing last season with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The veteran wide receiver has spent the bulk of his career with the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions. He has caught 611 career passes for 7,214 yards with 38 touchdowns and made the Pro Bowl his first season with the Lions in 2014.
Tate’s transition to the Giants had been rather seamless. He is expected to play a major part in filling the production left behind by Beckham.
“He’s got [the offense],” coach Pat Shurmur said on Friday. “He’s ready to go.”
With the suspension and injuries, the Giants’ receiving corps currently is comprised of Cody Latimer, Russell Shepard, Bennie Fowler, Reggie White Jr., Alonzo Russell and rookie Darius Slayton, among others.
Slayton, a fifth-round pick this year, is dealing with a hamstring injury.
General manager Dave Gettleman on Friday said the Giants would hold a workout Saturday for wide receivers.
“We’re going to do something,” Gettleman said.
On Friday, Tate had said the wide receivers room was “deflated” by news of Coleman’s injury.
While with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013, Tate was critical of two teammates who received suspensions for substance-abuse violations, calling them “selfish.”
“You are affecting way more than yourself,” Tate told 710 ESPN Radio at the time. “I feel like that was kind of a selfish move on both those guys’ part. But it is what it is. The show must go on and that’s what we’re gonna do.”
On Saturday, Tate said the prescribed medication did not provide any “competitive advantage” and that he prided himself for following the league’s protocol throughout his 10 seasons.
“During the entirety of my 10 year career, I have taken great pride in playing this game the right way, have been an ambassador for the NFL and have never had any issues with the league’s policy,” Tate said. “The treatment this past April had no effect on the upcoming season, and I did not, and could not have undergone this treatment in April for any competitive advantage.
“I deeply appreciate the support from the New York Giants Organization, and will continue to hold the highest level of character and integrity, while being a leader in the locker room.”